Midwood buying West Village apartment building for $100M

John Usdan’s firm in contract to strike rare deal in neighborhood

John Usdan with 56 7th Avenue (Streeteasy, Midwood Investment)
John Usdan with 56 7th Avenue (Streeteasy, Midwood Investment)

John Usdan’s Midwood Investment & Development is lined up to strike a rare deal.

Midwood is in contract to buy the 160-unit building at 56 Seventh Avenue from investment giant BlackRock for around $100 million, The Real Deal has learned.

Big buildings don’t often change hands in the highly desirable West Village. The Seventh Avenue property, known as Candela Tower, has roughly 7,000 square feet of retail leased to tenants like Birch Coffee and Elm Health and about 60 percent of its apartments are not rent-stabilized.

It was constructed in 1931 and designed by famed architect Rosario Candela.

The deal, which was brokered by a Cushman & Wakefield team led by Adam Spies and Adam Doneger, is expected to close in May.

A representative for Midwood confirmed the deal is in contract but declined to comment further. A representative from BlackRock declined to comment.

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Blackrock acquired the building in 2008 for an undisclosed price, property records show.

The city’s multifamily market bounced back last year, but Manhattan saw the smallest gains. That’s because investors focused on lower-priced buildings instead of the large institutional deals that usually dominate the market, according to Ariel Property Advisors’ 2021 multifamily market report.

Manhattan recorded about $2.5 billion worth of apartment-building sales last year, up 15 percent from 2020. That was the smallest increase of any borough; citywide, sales volume climbed 72 percent year-over-year to $8 billion.

Large building sales in the West Village are uncommon. In an exception that proves the rule, at the end of 2020 Jimmy Siebler sold the 138-unit property at 1 Christopher Street, which had been in his family for nearly 100 years. A family from Europe purchased it for $95 million.